Bottoms Up! Great glutes require increased water consumption
Water makes up more than 60% of the body and 2/3 of this water is stored within our muscles. In order for our leg muscles to perform optimally, hydration is a must. Strength gains and physique changes can’t occur without plenty of water and here is why:
- water dissolves the solids we eat and transports those nutrients to our muscle cells. For leg muscle development, repair, and recovery, a high protein diet is crucial. However, the digestion of protein requires 7x more water than the digestion of fats or carbohydrates. The nutrients you take in do not matter if your body doesn’t have the fluid necessary to break down and use those nutrients.
- Water is a catalyst; water is necessary for chemical and enzyme-based reactions. The vitamins, minerals, and enzymes we ingest from food and supplements only become functional when they are electrically charged ions. These substances cannot become ions until they are dissolved in water. In order for our legs to make use of the enzymes from nutrients we eat, water is a must.
- Water lubricates our joints and acts as a shock-absorber. This protective mechanism is especially important while exercising our legs.
- Water regulates our temperature. Heat forces sweat which in turn leads to evaporation. The evaporation acts as a thermal device to cool down the body. Since our legs are our largest, most powerful muscle group, working them dramatically increases our body temperature. Water is necessary to avoid overheating.
- Water is a mineral source
Water from Food Sources
- The water content in food differs. Raw fruits and vegetables contain the most water. “Wet” carbohydrates, such as cooked rice and legumes, also contain a considerable amount of water. On the other hand, foods that are higher in fat contain little-to-no water (nuts, seeds, oils, butters).
Recommended Daily Water Intake
- The Recommended Daily Average (RDA) of water intake is 3 Liters (12 cups). A diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and “wet” carbohydrates will naturally provide 1 Liter (4 cups) of water/day. Such a diet would drop the RDA down to 2 Liters (8 cups) of water/day. However, factors such as climate, physical activity, sweat and body size will alter daily water needs; warmer climates, increased sweating, physical activity, and body size will all increase water needs….sometimes by as much as 2x!
- Dehydration occurs as a result of too little water relative to sodium. Dehydration can occur from sodium overload, low water intake, or increased rate of sweating. Dehydration will decrease force generation creating weakness in the muscles during workouts and this will lead to decreased results.
Let’s get the legs we want this spring by making sure to consume 9 oz of water before, during, and after each leg workout. Overall, we should all make an effort to aim for downing at least 1 9-oz bottle of water for every hour that we are awake.
I like to carry a refillable glass bottle at all times to save money and trips to the recycle bin.